Last week, Heather talked about other’s perceptions of the profession of art education in her article, “Just an Art Teacher Isn’t Doing us any Justice.” Along those lines, the statement I often hear is: “Your an art teacher, that must be so fun!”
If you have friends and family members that are not art teachers (and I’m sure you do), you have probably heard similar sentiments. If you’re like me, statements like this make you feel somewhat conflicted. On the one hand, our job is fun. In fact, I wake up every single day excited to go to work. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. On the other hand, being an art teacher is a lot of work, requiring a diverse set of skills.
Do you ever wish you could take these people to work for just one day, so they could see what your job is really all about?
Last school year, my dream was fulfilled when my dad, a small business owner who hasn’t been inside of an elementary school since he attended one, asked if he could come to work with me for a day. “This is going to be awesome,” I thought, and it most definitely was.
It was great to spend the day with my dad, and the kids thought it was so fun that I brought him to school. He helped pass out supplies, had thoughtful discussions with my students about their artwork, and thoroughly enjoyed the weirdness that is the elementary art room. Most importantly, however, he realized the effort and dedication it takes to be an art teacher. For example, after I had taught just one class he came up to me and stated the obvious, “Wow, this job is so much work. I can’t believe how organized you have to be.”
Duh, Dad. What did you think!?
Perhaps the sweetest moment for me was when my last class left the room. I went to a staff meeting, and he asked if he could take a nap.
Do you have someone in your life that you would love to take to work with you?
How do you think they would respond?